Fort Verde & Dead Horse Ranch State Parks

Saturday saw the return to bright sunshine and warm temperatures. We visited Fort Verde State Park in the morning and took in the living history presentation put on by volunteer Buffalo Soldiers. We toured the 10th Cavalry camp which dates back to 1850. The Buffalo Soldiers briefed us on life in the camp back in the day and also the history of their unit. Local volunteers in period costumes were also very knowledgeable. The actor soldiers were from Phoenix and had trailer problems, so they arrived on site without their usual horses. They managed to obtain horses locally but were unable to give their usual cavalry drill presentation because of the strange mounts. I was particularly interested to learn that the 10th cavalry was an African American unit but always commanded by white officers. In fact, General George Armstrong Custer, as a young officer refused to command the unit…..and of course, given the eventual outcome at the battle of Little Big Horn many years later, the unit was very happy about that.

After lunch, we took in Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood for a little hiking and bird photography. We hiked into Tavasci Marsh with our tripods and big lens but didn’t see many birds. Things went a little better as we walked around the lagoons. I managed to get some nice shots of Ring Necked Ducks in flight. Think I am getting more familiar with all the AF settings on my new camera.

Sunday was a down day for us as we prepared Phaeton Place for our trip to Casa Grande, Monday morning. Not to dwell too much on the weather forecast, but beginning tomorrow, Casa Grande is in store for a week of sunny skies with temperatures in the mid to upper 70sF. Gotta love that!!

One Comment

  1. Buffalo Soldier 9 February 15, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Keep telling that history:

    Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, "RaPR", a great story of black military history…the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.

    How do you keep a people down? ‘Never' let them 'know' their history.

    The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.

    Read the novel, “Rescue at Pine Ridge”, 5 stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial…and visit the website

    I hope you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote it from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn't like telling our stories…its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with…see at;

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890's, “spread the word”.